Manchester United manager David Moyes has revealed that striker Wayne Rooney is likely to have to miss games in the coming weeks as he struggles with an ongoing groin complaint.
Rooney sat out United's 1-0 victory at Norwich City in the Premier League on Saturday, but played for the entirety of the 2-1 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on New Year's Day.
With Robin van Persie currently sidelined by a thigh injury, Moyes is loath to rest his other first-choice striker, but he admits that Rooney's injury may force his hand.
Asked if resting Rooney was an option, Moyes replied: "If I could, I would.
"He has missed a couple of games with his groin and may well miss some more in the games coming up.
"But the longer it went on (against Tottenham), we had to try and get more attacking players on the pitch to find more ways to score."
United's loss to Spurs, their fourth home defeat of the season, left them five points adrift of the Champions League places and 11 points behind leaders Arsenal in seventh place.